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Roundtable briefing

Progressing towards an artificial pancreas

Briefing published June 2018

Overview

This briefing has been prepared by JDRF in advance of the roundtable on access to diabetes technology and progressing towards an artificial pancreas.

Diabetes technology can be life changing. Unfortunately, people with diabetes face a postcode lottery across the UK when it comes to access to technology that can help improve and manage their condition.

Flash glucose monitoring reduces the need for finger-prick testing and shows trends in blood glucose levels, which can improve management of the condition. Continuous glucose monitoring (often referred to as CGM) can help maintain target blood glucose levels, and limit the risk of hypoglycaemia if they are used on a daily basis (ie at least 80 percent of the time). They can provide peace of mind for parents as they feature an alarm which can be set to go off when a child’s levels get too low or high. Insulin pumps are an increasingly common treatment for type 1 diabetes. An insulin pump delivers insulin every few minutes in tiny amounts, 24 hours a day. Insulin pumps reduce the need for multiple injections and give the user the ability to make smaller, more accurate adjustments to insulin delivery.

An artificial pancreas is pieces of technology that could do some of the job of a healthy pancreas, providing exactly the right amount of background insulin to the body as it’s needed. This then removes some of the time and effort that goes into managing type 1 diabetes.

If the NHS access issues to today’s type 1 diabetes technology can be addressed, a path can then be cleared for the artificial pancreas. In summary, having access to the right technology can be life changing. It can help people better control their condition and can save the NHS money through reduced complications. People with type 1 diabetes deserve to get the type 1 diabetes technology they want and need on the NHS.

Full briefing

Read the full report – JDRF briefing: Progressing towards an artificial pancreas (pdf file)

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